A blog is a website that allows the creation and dissemination of content, in most cases, on a specific topic and in which knowledge and opinions are shared on a regular basis.
Blogs are also called virtual logs or virtual diaries, depending on the objective they met when their use began to become popular.
One of its most outstanding features is the creation of articles (also called entries or posts) that are displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent appears first).
The word blog derives from weblog, a term created by the American writer Jorn Barguer in 1997 to shorten the phrase “logging the web” (register or annotate on the web).
Later, in 1999, blogger Peter Merholz turned the word weblog into the phrase we blog, and since then, blog is used as a name and verb (blogging).
That same year, the Blogger platform emerged, which allowed the creation of online blogs, and which later led to frequent use of terms related to this activity, for example, blog, blogger (blogger), blogosphere and blogging (the update action a blog periodically).
The technical advantage of a blog with respect to a web page is that it allows it to be used by any user, without the need for it to have any degree of knowledge in programming or web design.
In addition, the costs of creating or maintaining an online blog are generally very low and even free, compared to what it costs to have your own website.
On the other hand, blogs also allow the creation of a community, understood as a group of people (users of other blogs and readers) united by common interests, which generally have to do with the theme that is written regularly on the website.
These communities are created from the interactions between their participants. For example, comments on blog posts, forums, recommendations from other blogs, events outside the online world , among others.
Although there are virtually no limitations on the topics covered in blogs, the most popular have to do with cooking, health, travel, politics, and digital marketing.
Blog history begins in the 1990s, and is preceded by internet forums, where users could generate comment threads.
The first blogs emerged as a need for users to keep a personal diary online, which allowed their reading by anyone with an internet connection.
It was Justin Hall, a university student from the United States, who became one of the pioneers of this format, publishing details about his life on his blog links.net, in 1994.
With the emergence of the Blogger platform, in 1999, the possibility that anyone could create their own blog without technical knowledge catapulted not only virtual blogs, but a new way to generate digital content.
Today there are several types of services for the creation of blogs, which allows digital readers to have access to a wide variety of topics, opinions and knowledge shared by bloggers from anywhere in the world.
From 2004 to 2016, the German international broadcasting service (Deutsche Welle) rewarded the work of bloggers dedicated to disseminating information related to human rights, freedom of expression, politics and digital security with the Best Of Online Activism (BOBS) award.
This accounts for the relevance that blogs have, not only in the online world, but in public opinion.
A blog has several features that facilitate its use by bloggers, among which are:
- A blog not only allows you to add texts, but also images and photographs, which helps to expand and enrich the content and make it more attractive to readers.
- Links to other blogs or websites can be added, allowing readers to expand the information.
- It allows the embedding of multimedia resources (videos, audios, gifs).
- It can be disseminated, either through subscription to the content or because it can be shared through social networks. That increases the chances of the blog reaching more readers.
- The published content can be personal, corporate, commercial, etc. Even, the objective can be as varied as the subject: inform, entertain, educate, share knowledge, sell, among others.
- Although there are no limitations in this regard, what is expected in a blog is to publish content regularly (daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.).
Blogs can deal with multiple topics, so a ranking in that sense would be almost infinite. However, depending on the predominant channel or resource, it can have several names. These are the most common:
- Vlog: video content
- Fotolog: content in photographs
- Linklog: includes links.
- Sketchblog: it is a portfolio of sketches
- Tumblelogs: short content that combines multiple media (photo, video, gif, etc.)
Uses of the blog today
In the world of digital marketing, blogs are often a resource used by companies to create and promote content marketing strategies. The objective is to create valuable content, useful for real or potential consumers, but without directly promoting a product.
For example, a brand of baby products may have a blog on its official website where it shares advice about maternity, child care or pediatric advice.
Blogs are also used by those who wish to make themselves known as specialists in a specific topic, so they often publish valuable content and frequently, not only to demonstrate their expertise in the subject, but to achieve a subscriber base, generate alliances, inform about upcoming events and boost their positioning in search engines.
In this case, blogs are a tool to boost personal branding.